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with the brookings institution and an msnbc contributor. e.j., great to see you, as always. john boehner sits to the left of center of his caucus. can he work out a deal without inciting a full-scale revolt? >> well, we don't know that, but i think he'll have to test it. that really tells you something about how conservative the republican caucus has done. john boehner is a good conservative. what we have learned from last week is that if you give the 30 to 60, whatever the actual number was, we can't know for issue, but 30 to 60 of the most conservative republicans veto power, you will never get a reasonable solution. president obama made a lot of concessions to john boehner. a lot of liberals didn't like all the concessions he made. he limited the reach of the tax cut, changed the indexing of social security. he put that stuff in there to get republican votes. i think if john boehner -- and it would take courage, said we're going to let the whole housework its will, you can't pass a lot of reasonable bills if you worked from the center out instead of starting from the far right and see what
. welcome to this special edition of "m schsnb"msnbc." as for president obama and john boehner, they are miles apart. neither are them talking about the deal the country really needs. kristin, we were talking yesterday that there's a possibility the president was considering coming back early perhaps thshould they strike a deal of some sort. >> i think it's likely president obama will cut his vacation short. we haven't gotten guidance about when that is going to happen. the white house is calling this a working vacation, but the reality is that talks are largely deadlocked over the fiscal cliff. there have been a few conversations going on at the staff level but really the expectation is that the hard work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday, a little bit later on this week. that's when they're going to resume negotiations in earnest. of course there had been hopes that the president and house speaker john boehner were going to get a deal done. if you looked at the beginning of last week, they were getting close to a deal it appe
. and you see john boehner's frustration. the president has never made it easier or maybe even b possible for the president -- for boehner or to get the job done. gregg: all right. chris stirewalt, thanks very much. >> merry christmas. gregg: merry christmas. heather: well, coming up, even before the president takes the oath of office for a second time, a new poll out just today suggests americans are increasingly worried about what's ahead for this cot the hd the political debates. gregg: and mother nature not making it easy for millions of folks trying to rush home for the holidays. we are live from the world's busiest airport. heather: plus, a new battle over the president's health care law as we learn more about a doctor shortage and the impact that it could have on you and your health services. we'll show you one suggestion for dealing with the shortage and why it is already creating controversy. >> but we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy. when you have diabetes... your doctor will say get smart about your weight. that'
deal has to pass the house. we are not into the senate yet and the republican speaker john boehner plablamed the crisis one president saying he the one who has never found a way to say yes. >> so you are in new york and i'm in atlanta, and we get to washington now, because the senior congressional correspondent dana bash is closely following the negotiations from capitol hill, and dana, you have been there and talking to people, and where are we on this? >> well, the senate majority leader harry reid was on the floor moments ago saying that the senate will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. the senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 tomorrow, and that means no senate votes tonight which is not good news for everybody looking at the calendar and looking at the watch at this point and not the calendar to see that it is midnight tomorrow night that everybody's taxes in this country will go up. simply put, both sides are not at a place where they believe that they can come up with anything to put on the senate floor for a vote tonight. they will give it until the actual deadline, decem
the failure of speaker john boehner's plan b last week, house members are saying the ball is now in the senate's court. >>> former president george h.w. bush is in the intensive care unit at a houston hospital this morning. according to a statement from the bush family the president has been in intensive care since sunday, after suffering a series of setbacks, including a persistent fever. they also say he's relentlessly positive and spends time talking and joking with his doctors. in the next hour we'll take to you houston for a live update on the president's condition. >>> it's called one of the largest lawsuits of its kind, toyota agrees to a $1.1 billion settlement. we'll tell you who benefits and if one of the people who benefits is you. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. are only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi pri
connell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker john boehner is saying the senate needs to just take up a house pass bill that has already passed t
like had been on the table in so-called plan a, the $4 trillion debt deal he and john boehner had been talking about for weeks. so we might see a small bit of spending cuts just to stave off the sequester, the massive amount of spending cuts that will kick in at the beginning of the year to harm the pentagon and other agencies. if they are getting anything, there are low expectations but if they get anything it will be a very small deal, something much smaller than they have been talking about for weeks, jon. jon: there aren't too many people these meetings. so a little hard to get an assessment, what is your idea, what is your best, yeah, assessment i guess how things are between some of these leaders? >> reporter: they have gotten pretty tense the last couple of days as they have come back from the christmas holiday. we saw yesterday senate majority leader harry reid basically accusing john boehner of running a deck tate toreship, that was his word in the house of representatives. reid piled on a little bit late yesterday afternoon and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell respond
to the table later this week after house speaker john boehner's plan b failed to get enough republican support for a vote last week. >>> still, the market has been resilient. despite friday's decline, the s&p 500 posted its best week in four. and with just five trading sessions left in 2012, the dow has advanced 8% while the s&p 500 climbed 13. the nasdaq has jumped 16%. >>> reports are due this week on pending home sales. sales of new homes and a look at home prices in the nation's 20 largest cities. >>> are you still not sure what to get for the person who has everything? new retail numbers show footwear was the fifth most popular gift on shoppers' lists on black friday. a year ago, shoes didn't even make it into the top ten gifts for the season. >>> good news for hollywood. attendance by moviegoers is up more than 5.5% so far this year. ticket revenue is projected to jump by 6% by the end of 2012 which would be the industry's biggest yearly increase in a decade. >>> after surprisingly strong sales on thanksgiving, look for some mcdonald's restaurants to be open on christmas for the first ti
right now of john boehner and president obama. john boehner from your state of ohio. there are a lot of people that say if the deal were between these two guys, it would be made. the problem is john boehner can't agree to something with president obama and then take it back to his own party. >> well, and vice versa. a year ago august the president couldn't agree to the deal he needed another $400 billion in revenue. look, if the president and senator reid and john boehner all said to me today it's written, let's put simpson-bowles on the floor, i guarantee you given the urgency we could cobble together something to solve this problem but nobody is willing to pull the trigger. everybody wants to play the blame game. this blame game is about to put us over the edge. >> the problem, of course, which you don't personally face because you didn't run for this new congress is a poll that we have that was taken very recently that says -- we asked who would be more responsible if the fiscal cliff occurs. 48% of respondents say the gop in congress. 37% blame -- would blame president obama and
republicans. >> reporter: all eyes now turning to the possibility since speaker john boehner was not able to get enough republican votes to move forward with a plan late last week, that maybe now the senate will have to workout a compromise between harry reid, mitch mcconnell the democratic and republican leaders, and the president who is here in hawaii when you talk to his staff they say it's very likely some time after spending christmas with his family, whether it's the middle or later part of this week he's likely to head back to washington to sit down with congressional leaders and try to work this out. >> reporter: it's a bit encouraging for a lot of folks who were wondering about that question. i'm curious is there anyone on the island that is critical to the fiscal talks that joined the president on this trip or is everything being done electronically? >> reporter: most electronic leave. the one interesting point is when i mentioned the memorial service for senator inouye the person giving the oo eulogy was harry reid. they may have got even a chance for a little private time. the
. the president does the best. but we have house speaker john boehner, approval is 26% and harry reid, 34%. doug, who steps up and shows some leadership at this moment? >> well, the president's overall approval rating is pretty high, i think, he is in the mid-50s, about the highest he has been in some time. i think it's going to be, in the short term, it's mcconnell and reid. can it pass the house? that will be up to john boehner's leadership. i think that john boehner wants to get something done. he is a deal maker. but he has 80, 90, 100 members in the caucus who refuse to take yes for an answer, as the president said. so i agreew on the overall issue of the debt. i think that's why the president put forward a plan on a grand bargain to get $4 trillion in deficit reduction, but that wouldn't have been able to pass the house. so, short term, mcconnell and reid, they are dealt makers. they have done this before. long term or over the next two, three, four week, it will be in john boehner's hands with the president doing a lot of prodding. >> i think that speaker boehner -- really it does depend
-called plan b failed in the house, john boehner, speaker of the house said, look, it's up to the senate. we'll not do anything more. we already passed a bill a while back that would extend bush tax cuts for everybody. it is up to the senate to do something. you have senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, the republican saying it is up to the democrats to do something. we'll not do anything until president obama and the democrats come up with a plan and president obama actually late yesterday did call all four leaders, majority, minority leaders in the house and senate that includes mitch mcconnell and said the first time a democrat called him since thanksgiving to talk about this. so they're talking but there is no indication anybody is actually doing anything right now. gregg: what about harry reid? what's his, does he have anything at all maybe towards the end of the week he will put on the table? i've been hearing he will put to a vote an extension of the bush tax cuts for anybody making under $250,000 a year, extend unemployment benefits for some 2 million people that are about to lose
it's not as if he doesn't have an awfully strong hand to play. if it's a deal john boehner can accept, frankly, i think it will be passed in a bipartisan manner with a strong majority. if earn he's not neutral or favorable, his chances will be a lot slimmer. >> we will find out in the morning whether any progress came out of the senate leader mitch mcconnell's meeting with vice president joe biden. >> we've been asking you, our viewers, to send in your thoughts, your messages to elected representatives. so let's close tonight with some advice from one of you to washington. >> my message to all of washington for the new year is to set partisanship aside working on behalf of 100% of the voters, fix this mess you've gotten us into, bring a balanced budget to the table to grow this economy for the long term not the short term. >> there you go. for the long term, not the short term. >> there you go. i'm don lemon. happy new year to you. jooirksz . >>> hello, i'm don lemon and this is cnn's top 10 of 2012. we look at the stories that captured our attention, what we see as the biggest
for congress' performance are different from that which the republicans use. as speaker john boehner has said over and over, the second pass a record low number of those pixel of the congress that were not imposing regulations and not increasing taxes. that's way one of looking on it. the way most people look at it attested to by record low popularity approval rating is that this is a congress that has been defined by dysfunction of the law, a congress in which has never been writer than none and where compromise is really seem to be a foreign-policy, a policy foreign to the roast great deliberative body. >> to think of people who ran in 2010 and got elected with the people who ran before it ended now ascended to of leadership leave no with a solution or they were elected to not do things as opposed to do things? >> again, from the class of 2010 and now i refer to the 87 freshman, the so-called tea party class of the 112 congress, their belief is they are doing precisely what the people who elected them wish to do, which is rollback obama initiatives to cut spending. a lot of them thought the
of the reason, just like i don't believe john boehner actually does the house speaker. there is this group in the middle, first of all they are not sure where the political blame would lie. it could end up on them and they want want to have that happen. second of all these are deal mayors. they came to washington to get deals done. and they see the result, the goal as a deal to get past this rather than looking at the numbers. the folks on each side eve are looking at the numbers and they say the deficit would be in better shape and the economy in the long run is in better shape. they are looking long term. the deal makers in the center are looking right now and say they are scared of the political consequences and we are not quite sure how the numbers end up, the last thing we need is a rescission. >> reporter: steve vin dinin in washington. thank you. >> reporter: new information on a horrified christmas eve tragedy as a note left by this ex-con suggests that he planned to kill first responders and possibly some of his own neighbors when he set this massive inferno, it happened on monday
. a lot of negotiations have been between the president and speaker john boehner. >> november 16 was the last time and the only time they met. it's going to happen? we expected bombshell announcement? no. the thing to watch is are they going to keep talking? will these they are we going to see everyone tomorrow? in 1994, they would go to andrews air force base, can't david, but they would keep talking. -- camp david, and it would keep talking. what will happen on the floor of the house and the senate? the senate has to take a pay bill, and then it, and send it back. when they agreed to that? a third thing we need to watch is the tone. if everybody says they're hopeful, that is important i go back to last friday, after speaker boehner's plan b, which would have taxed millionaires had a higher rate, fizzled. he had a press conference that was angry and criticizing democrats, but at the end he said he was hopeful, and that was the news. host: maybe we should send your dog in the meeting. guest: she wants to know who will pay for dog food next week. host: if there is no agreement, wh
of representatives said, and i have it here somewhere, i don't want to be critical of john, meaning john boehner, but if you don't ever bring something to the floor without the votes. so this is what happened last thursday night where he brought this bill to the floor, his plan b, and it went nowhere. was that a major miscalculation for him? >> it was. look, denny was the speakner nea different time. he could hand out projects to districts of wavering members. and he had a very tough leadership team that went out and got the votes. boehner is not a strong leader. he doesn't have the pork and the earmarks anymore since they've been banned. and a lot of the incoming -- or the folks that came in in 2010, the tea party folks, they look at the tom delay are era and say -- >> they're both long time qulil wat capitol hill watchers, and we have to ask you are you seeing any sway now in following boehner? is he losing support? >> obviously the fact that he thought that he would be able to bring the bill last week to the floor to raise taxes on everybody making a million dollars or more and then had to pu
're going to get something done. we heard from house speaker john boehner earlier today. where is this? clearly it looks like now it's in the senate's hands. >> that's right. it is absolutely in the senate's handings, has been effectively since the house speaker failed to pass his so-called plan b proposal last week. and so what is going on behind the scenes right now, suzanne, is the senate democratic leader is trying to figure out if he can cobable together enough votes, which would mean he would have to have probably significant crossover to get some votes to at least pass the bear bare minimum to ahouseholds with incomes of less than $200,000. >> the speaker has just a few days left to change his mind but i have to be very honest, mr. president. i don't know time-wise how it can happen now. >> so there's a time issue because we're only five days away, but most importantly there's a political and process issue. the political issue we've talkeder this the last few days, suzanne. it's a question of whether or not there's enough lawmakers, willing to take the vote which would effective
at this point is not in discussion with not only speaker john boehner but the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell and perhaps because of that, you have some of that pessimism of senator liberman being shared by republicans. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes and sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue, gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years and blame republicans for it. >> now, all eyes are now on the senate, which will reconvene on thursday. seen as likely that president obama will head back to washington from hawaii here. senate minority leader harry reid has the task of trying to conjure up something that might be able to pass the house in addition to the senate publicly. the white house is saying they want tax rates to remain in effect for those making up to $250,000 per year, but it's unclear if that's something. very unclear, very unquestioned that house republicans could swallow that. we're hearing aing you significant possibility we g
no republicans block the bill. for house speaker john boehner to agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor and leader nancy pelosi to predict a huge number of democrats needed to pass it. but if that plan falling through -- >> then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> reporter: the president's basic package has much more for democrats to like. so don't expect that to get very far, but all sides now agree the senate must first pass a bill before the house makes any kind of move. so all eyes will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiatorsoled up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. christi, alison? >>> and the cliffhanger continues. jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and january 1st is the deadline to make a deal on the fiscal cliff. for some states, it's a day that a series of new laws are going to take effect. let me get you clued in here. in california, talking more than 800 new laws, including one requiring apartments and condos to install carbon monoxide detectors. separately, employers will
. house speaker john boehner will see his salary increase to more than $224,000. and senate majority leader harry reid will take home an annual pay of $194,000 after his raise. so those guys are getting a raise. and if you are counting on a tax refund in the next few weeks, the fiscal cliff could force you to wait just a little bit longer than usual. >>> checking our top stories. the nation is now 14 hours away from the fiscal cliff. sources tell us vice president joe biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talked through the night and vow to keep these negotiations going on today. the gridlock in washington could also hold up your tax refund. you might have to wait until late march to file if congress does not approve a short-term fix for the alternative minimum tax in the next few days. same issue two years ago delayed the opening of tax season by four weeks to mid-february. >>> former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital but no longer in intensive care. bush was moved to regular patient room on saturday to continue his recovery. the 88-year-old was in
polls including republicans. >> wake of house speaker john boehner's plan "b" failure, all eyes turn to senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell and whether they work out something short of $4 trillion grand bargain. last-minute stop gap. attending tax cut for people making $250,000 or less. and unemployment benefits for 2 million people who will lose the benefits a week after christmas. >> it is going to be a patch. because in four days we can't solve everything. >> yet, other republicans note the president short-term fix raises some taxes, yet punt spending cuts until next year. >> i would vote for revenue, including the tax rate hike though i don't like them to get, to save the country from becoming greece. i'm not going to set aside the $1.2 trillion in cuts. >> if the president does return to washington this week, unclear whether he will come back here to hawaii for new year's with his family. joe lieberman says he expects the senate to be in session on new year's eve, working on a deal down to the wire. >> thank you, ed. markets dropped on shortened day of trading. dow fel
's also a busy day because in washington, the 113th congress is going to be sworn in. john boehner elected to his second term as house speaker. if everybody can play nice and solve the country's problems, not just right now with the fiscal cliff, but in the new year when a whole host of other issues come to visit us. so, with the new year just days away but the change of the calendar year comes lots of changes in state laws. here's what we're going to be looking at, here's a look at what will be legal and illegal in the new year. >> well, alison, some laws made headlines. gay marriage was passed in maryland and maine and the recreational use of marijuana was passed in colorado and washington state. wait, there's more. much more. let's start with the laws that take effect on january 1st. so, in illinois and california, employers may no longer force their employees to post their accounts. speaking of job seekers, let's check out oregon. employers are not allowed to advertise a job listing in that state unless they are willing to hire the unemployed. in iowa, arsenic is banned in chicken feed
on and talk about the fiscal cliff. speaker john boehner certainly taking a huge hit last week with his plan b proposal, didn't even get off the ground with his own party. where does this leave things now? >> in some ways boehner was prophetic and said only gods knows. so mark plotkin doesn't know, but i really think it will be a much smaller version. in the end they'll come up with something and it will probably be some break-away republicans, if there are any in the house, and the senate democrats to at least come up with something and then work toward the next year. >> you think there will be a deal? >> a miniaturized deal. >> lastly let's talk about this cabinet positions, appointments made. we're hearing former republican senator chuck hagel may be nominated secretary of defense, but a little something going on. what's it all about? >> he's considered against gay right, not sufficiently pro israel negotiating with iran and even republicans like john cornyn of texas said they're going to come out against him. it almost seems like susan rice all over again and they might appoint the -- the
republican-controlled institution in the town and john boehner having control of his republican conference and squeezing something through the house of representatives. and so far i don't think there's been any movement there. there's been nothing public that can suggest that boehner can suddenly magically pass something that he and the white house agree on. >> ryan, you're a correspondent for the new yorker and join us often. dana, let me bring you back in and ask you, it seems to me that anything that this congress has gotten done -- and by "this congress" i mean when it's been divided between republicans in the house and democrats in the senate. it has been that both parties, that is, the left of the democratic party and the right of the republican party are kind of left to vote yay or nay by themselves and they form a consensus in the middle. does john boehner need nancy pelosi in order to get anything passed? >> reporter: yes, absolutely. no question about it. that became incredibly obvious when he couldn't even get his own republicans to effectively save them from themselves and at l
because it's really, we've seen tensions escalate ever since before christmas when john boehner was not able to get a deal through the house where he has a very strong republican majority. he had a rebellion amongst some of his fellow conservatives. that is what held it up. senator harry reid as you say was very rough going directly after boehner yesterday. take a listen. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. >> reporter: the word dictatorship not sitting well at speaker's office of the as you can imagine his spokesman putting out a tough statement of his own saying quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. there you go. the senators saying the house to act. the speaker's office saying senate has to act. there is pressure building on the pr
and returned to the house. the senate first must act. now, the house leader john boehner says he will give house members 48 hours before he calls them back. that means the earliest they'll be back is on saturday. so are they just passing the buck to the senate? >> i think that's what's happening in both chambers right now. you saw a return statement from senate majority leader harry reid's spokesman yesterday talking about the incompetence of the house. these two sides are pointing fingers at each other. you have a situation now where these guys are completely confident or at least confident enough that their strategies are the right ones for them that they're not moving off the ball at all. and without any sort of movement, that's why you hear so much pessimism. >> i think part of it is they're afraid of spooking the markets, right? no gop senator wants to sign -- wants to vote for tax increases if the bill's not going to pass. that looks bad to their constituents. and as one democratic source told our dan that bash, this will be the last train we have and there is no sense in it leaving
we are hearing that both president obama and and john boehner are preparing to get back to washington. if they can't work out an agreement and we go over the fiscal cliff it of course will mean smaller paychecks and automatic hefty spending cuts. according to economists possibly another recession. with just days until that deadline, time to cut a deal is rapidly running out. ed henry with the president in honolulu, hawaii. ed, as we get this news. possibly the president leaving his vacation early? >> that's right, jamie. we are now learning from an administration official that it is likely the president will be leaving hawaii tomorrow. probably in the evening to get back to washington early thursday. possibly meet with congressional leaders. start working the phones, trying to move this forward because, frankly, when you talk to administration officials in private, they admit this is pretty tall right now because the president hasn't had a conversation with speaker boehner since last friday. now, if there is any hope in any of this, it's the fact that the president's aides say that bo
boehner. >> john boehner is a washington lifer and was not the obvious choice to be leading this sort of tea party crafts. nonetheless you can see the tea party phenomenon for the trade -- freight train that it was an elected to be on the train rather than underneath it. speaker boehner campaigned heavily for a number of the tea party freshman andy also you know believe that this presented the republicans and indeed america with a great opportunity. his belief for example was that this would be a perfect run for entitlement reform. if you are are going after entitlement reform ideally you have the bipartisanship specifically at democratic president so they could not walk away from it. and so, he believed that he could leverage the deep conservatism of the tea party. but he has failed to do so and the tea party freshman with whom i have spent a great deal of time and i have spent time with an awful lot of them, liked him personally and found him admirable in the way is a genial ceo but certainly not as there are real leader. that has been implicitly clear throughout the 112 congress. e
the president and house speaker john boehner hit a wall and while they didn't reach a deal yesterday, there was movement on the income level they're willing to protect from tax hikes and other levels. mr. obama, on an interview on "meet the press" was cautiously opt missic. >> i'm confident that one of two things will happen when it comes to the fiscal cliff. one, we'll see an agreement within the next 48 hours in which case middle class taxes will not go up. if that doesn't happen, then democrats in the senate will put a bill on the floor of the senate and republican also have to decide if they're going to block it. >> biden and mcconnell are said to be only about $100,000 apart on where the bush era tax cuts would expire with the republican pushing for $550,000 a year. democrats offering a 450,000. biden stowed have given up his push to raise the estate tax. democrats are trying to delay spending cuts until 2015 and republicans are demanding more spending cuts to offset extended unemployment benefits and farm subsidies. lot of ground to make up. but mcconnell says his decision to r
. >> reporter: those comments cap aa week in which house speaker john boehner and president obama seemed close it to getting a deal, which included tax reform and deficit reduction. the talks fell aaparpaapart. >> how we get there god only knows. >> speaker boehner tried to pass an alternative bill that allowed tax rates to rise on those making a million dollars or more. >> they weren't taking that out on me. they were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. >> reporter: before jetting off to hawaii, president obama was prepared to accept a smaller deal as long as it prevented taxes from going up on middle class americans and extended unemployment insurance. >> i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it pass both chambers, and i will immediately sign that legislation into law before january 1st of next year. >> reporter: but americans say the uncertainty in washington is casting a cloud over their holidays. >> they are responsible for the well-being of all americans, and right now they're more woern wored about politics. >> i
to d.c., carol, you'll recall when talks fell apart last week between house speaker john boehner and the president as the president departed for hawaii he talked to reporters in the briefing room and he said "see you next week" so i think we had a sense he would be coming back earlier than initially planned and it was just a matter of when, not if, and he'll be heading back tonight, that's local time so he'll be traveling overnight, it's quite a long flight, nine or ten hours and he'll be back in d.c. by thursday late morning. >> any behind the scene talks over the holiday? >> reporter: right now the white house has been in communication with senate democrats but i've checked in with my sources even this morning, republican sources and they're still not in touch with senate democrats or the white house, so that's pretty key. i guess you can understand it right now the white house and senate democrats are trying to cobble something together as they work towards putting forth a proposal. ultimately it needs republican support in the senate and the house. those discussions have to t
reid or that guy called president barack obama a win. they are not going to do it. listen, if john boehner couldn't get a $1 million threshold on the floor and vote on it, why does anybody, anybody in their right mind think is senate is going to do something and send it to the house and watch them pass it. >> he's calling me crazy for being naive and silly enough to think maybe a deal would get done. it sounded like a kick in the gut. it wasn't what i wanted to hear, any of us wanted to hear. he's not surprised by it. i guess we shouldn't be surprised, but it's a disappointment. >> it's true. if they were going to get a deal in the next day or two, the time we have left, it would be a small deal. at this point, they can kick it to the next congress and the chances of having a bigger, better deal then are much greater. this isn't that much of a surprise. >> not much of a surprise. robert, can you back me up? i look like the political novice here. i was being hopeful something was going to get done. we knew what we were up against. the president had his back up plan. are you agreeing
john boehner were working on a much bigger package obviously, not just to avoid the fiscal cliff but to try and tackle the long-term fiscal health of the country, trying to overall it was expected to raise some taxes, try to deal with entitlement reform and tax reform, those other big things like entitlement reform and tax reform get kicked into the new year, dana, so it's the gift that keeps on giving on this cli clifftmas. >> taking this pretty far. one of the key questions is whether or not senate democratic leader harry reid will be able to get enough republicans in the senate to vote on anything that will keep taxes low and maybe cut some spending. is the white house optimistic enough that the president might come back early to -- maybe he thinks he might have something to sign? >> i think it is expected that the president will come back early. probably whether or not he has something to sign because -- because obviously he's going to have to even maybe be twisting arms and lobbying some senators in his own party. the big question right now is what is this measure that he wi
john boehner to a certain extent? >> i guess you have to blame everybody. i didn't like the fact that they went in for a vote the other day and didn't have the vote. that didn't look good for anybody. and it certainly didn't look good for the republicans. the democrats loved it. but that was a momentary -- that was just a time in place. look, the republicans are sitting there with a nuclear weapon, so to speak. they have debt ceiling coming up. they can use that as part of this negotiation. and they should. and they shouldn't settle unless the deal is a great deal for this country. not for the republicans or democrats. unless it's a great deal for the country. we have to straighten this country out. this country is a mess. and we have no leadership and we have to straighten it out now and stop talking. whether they go on vacation or not, not good. sends a bad signal, but we have to straighten this country out and shouldn't do plan b -- they're all temporary. we should do the final plan or no plan. go over the cliff if you want. i don't call it a cliff 'cause i don't think the re
if john boehner and mitch mcconnell are in sync on believing that the tax issue should completely be taken off the table. if there's no deal today, they'll cut taxes in three days when there's a new congress. >> focusing back on the senate, how important is vice president biden? >> the only person with any sort of warm relationship with mitch mcconnell is joe biden. the president doesn't have one. harry reid and mitch mcconnell do have one, it's on again, off again, but it can deteriorate quickly as we saw yesterday. biden is important. if there's anybody with a personal relationship in the white house -- if you can fault the white house for one big thing, it's the lack of developing a personal relationship with mitch mcconnell, between the president and him. there is one between joe biden and him. >> chuck todd, thanks. >> you got it. >>> let's get to the morning's other top stories. andrea canning is in for natalie at the news desk. good morning. >> good morning. and happy almost new year's to you. and happy new year's to you at home. authorities are hoping to speak with a seriously inju
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